The Malthouse, Malthouse Road,
Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4AG, UK

Tel: 01538 703273

The Malthouse - Malting Cellars
Malthouse malting cellars photo

During 2005 work was carried out by English Heritage (now called Historic England) to allow visitor access, the vast unique 17th century malting cellars are available for public viewing by arrangement.

The cellars extend beneath The Malthouse and its gardens.

The present building and cellars, parts of which date back to c1680 appear to have been constructed from an open stone quarry that was vaulted over in brick to form the cellars making a large dry area for storage, steeping and malting barley. Inside the cellars the temperature is fairly constant all year round.

Malthouse cellars image

Malthouse cellars image


In the mid 19th century Charles Smith and his family lived at The Malthouse and operated a business from the cellars malting barley. The malt was then sold to local Public Houses and Inns for the brewing of beer and ales. Accounts from 1837 have been found showing deliveries of malt to Great Gate, Alton Park, Wooton Hall and Alton Towers. Records from 1841 show Charles and his nephews, occupation as 'maltsters'. The family also made a living as land surveyors mapping enclosures and tithe awards in this part of Staffordshire.

In 1888 the malting business closed. This was as a result of the industrial revolution when road, rail and canal transport allowed the breweries at Burton-upon-Trent to distribute beer and ales directly to Public Houses and Inns.

The cellars were unused until 1940 when they became the village air raid shelter and the nearby shop in Malthouse Road was the Air Raid Wardens' post (the shop is now part of our bed and breakfast accommodation).

In the 1960's the house and malting cellars were given a grade II listing under the Historic Buildings and Monuments Act of 1953. The listing was upgraded in 1995 to grade II star to gain funding for the stabilisation work.

The project was carried out during the summer of 2005 and took six months to complete.